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Bangladesh corridor sought for Nort

Bangladesh corridor sought for Northeast-Andhra power grid

The Hindustan Times
November 14, 2000

Rahul Karmakar
Guwahati, November 13

The North East Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) is gunning for a
transmission corridor through Bangladesh in order to set up a
Northeast-Andhra Pradesh grid. Plans are also afoot to extend these grid
southeastwards to Myanmar and beyond.

NEEPCO IS AWAITING THE APPROVAL OF THE ministry of External Affairs.
NEEPCO chairman cum managing director Pradosh K Chatterjee told The
Hindustan Times here on Sunday that Bangladesh is keen on this project,
and a team comprising the heads of various power corporations in the
country is scheduled to go to Dhaka in January to work out the

Preliminary dialogues have also been held with US power giant Enron for
setting up this grid through Bangladesh, expected to come up by the end
of next year.

?By March 2000, NEEPCO?s total installed capacity would increase to
1105MW from the existing 700MW,? Chatterjee said. ?Though this
corporation was set up to take care of the power needs of the seven
northeastern states, we have been forced to look for buyers outside the
region as none of them have been absorbing their allotted share. More
generation will add to our problems unless we customers elsewhere.?

NEEPCO, also hit by the northeastern states? inability to pay up, began
by selling 50 MW power to West Bengal in May this year. Andhra Pradesh
is keen on buying a substantial volume as is Bangladesh, said to have a
good appetite for power.

Chatterjee said that besides the ongoing 405MW Ranganadi hydel project
in Arunachal Pradesh, NEEPCO has another five projects under execution
expected to be completed by the 11th Five-Year Plan. These include the
210MW Tuivai Hydel in Mizoram, the 600MW Kameng Hydel in Arunachal
Pradesh, the 1500MW Tipaimukh Hydel on the Manipur-Mizoram border and
the 500MW gas-based combined cycle project in Tripura.

?The completion of these projects would leave NEEPCO with an installed
capacity of a whooping 3975MW,? Chatterjee said. ?Since the region is
not equipped to absorb this much power, it?s imperative that we tap the
market in our neighbouring countries.?